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spirit animal tattoo designs

20 Ideas for Meaningful Spirit Animal Tattoo Designs

In some cultures, tattoos with animal designs are part of religious rites. People in the old days believed that some tattoo designs offered protection from evil spirits. They draw their spirit animals, their guardian angels, on their bodies to ward off bad luck and malice. Nowadays, tattoo designs that incorporate spirit animals are still popular.

While traditional animal tattoos that have a connection to religious practices still exist, people nowadays treat modern tattoos as art.

Since tattoos can be permanent, you will need to choose the design carefully. You wouldn’t want a picture you might regret forever attached to your body, would you? Hence, you need to think about what kind of animal really represents your spirit.

Since tattoos should symbolize something meaningful, spirit animals are among the popular choices for tattoo designs for various reasons. Your spirit animals can be something from mythical concepts. The animal might have a cultural value that you can relate to. An animal from pop culture might also be a good inspiration for a tattoo, especially if it has special meaning to you.

It can also simply be your favorite animal, which you have fond memories of. In any case, the spirit animal that you choose should be something that captures your personality.

If you are looking for a spirit animal tattoo with deep meaning that would suit your personality and determination, here we have some design recommendations for you. Some of our suggestions might have something to do with traditional beliefs, while others correspond to mythical spirit animals, which were made popular again thanks to popular culture.  

1. Wolf Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@brunoootattoo)

If you are looking for a spirit animal tattoo that represents strength, compassion, and loyalty, you might be looking for a wolf design. While the wolf often appears as an evil character in children’s fairy tales, Native American beliefs see this animal in a different light. Wolf hunts in packs, never leaving their companion, and they make a great hunting companion for humans too.

Thus, wolves would make a great wild animal tattoo design. But if you are not sure yet, you might want to try a temporary wolf tattoo first to see if it would look great on you. Whether you are a man or a lady, wolves are suitable.

2. Fox Tattoo

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Closely related to wolves, foxes also have a special place in religious beliefs and many cultures. If your animal spirit is a fox, it means that you are independent, mischievous, and have cunning intuition.

Because of the animal’s mischievous character, the fox tattoo would be perfect for you who love to joke around. Plus, it is also the best tattoo that represents the value of your personal space. Fox is definitely one of the best spirit animals that would make a great tattoo design that you should try!

3. Small Elephant Family Tattoo

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Elephants are known as animals that have strong motherly instincts. So, it is no wonder that if you are looking for an animal tattoo that symbolizes family, then the elephant is a top choice.

Elephants have this nurturing instinct to care about their companion and will do wonders for their child as any mother would do to protect their family. If you like elephants for those reasons, get a family elephant set tattoo on your sleeve. 

4. Mandala Elephant Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@William Frank)

Other than motherly love, elephants also symbolize many things, like power, wisdom, physical strength, and endurance. Now, one of the best elephant illustrations comes from Lord Ganesh, the Hindu deity of knowledge and wisdom. You can have an elephant tattoo on your back to portray those aspects.

The Hinduism element would totally give the elephant an extra majestic look, providing you with a beautiful animal tattoo that would carry a deep meaning on your back.

5. Cat Tattoo

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Cat lovers definitely should get a cat tattoo for their spirit animal tattoo designs.

Cats represent curiosity. You would see this trait in any cat you come across. Cats also represent independence, as they highly value their personal space. This trait applies to their human companions too. For those reasons, there’s nothing wrong with having a cat tattoo carved on your body. 

6. Snake Tattoo

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While a dude with a snake obsession is often an evil character in a book or movie, snakes actually possess some deep traits. Many traditional animal tattoos often depict snakes as a symbol of fertility. Also, the snake’s habit of shedding skin becomes a symbol of healing and immortality.

Those are all the more reasons to have a snake tattoo on your wrist, as it hides deep philosophy.

7. Butterfly Mandala Tattoo

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The transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful winged creature, a butterfly, is a perfect representation of rebirth, change, and hope. If your animal spirit is a butterfly, you should definitely get it on your thigh!

The winged create would make a great tattoo for girls, especially those who hide deep insecurity inside. Rather than having just a single butterfly, you can incorporate it with a henna or mandala pattern. If you do not feel like having a permanent one, a set of temporary butterfly-mandala tattoos for women is also widely available.

8. Lioness Tattoo

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Here is another lovely animal tattoo for girls. If a lioness is your spirit animal, this illustration would be a lovely inspiration.

While the male lion represents strength, the lioness represents protection. She is the primary protector of the lion pack, which means a lioness tattoo could also be used to represent familial value. Let the lioness show that girls can have such wild animal tattoos too.

9. Lion and Lioness Tattoo

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While a lioness alone represents independent strength, having both lion and lioness tattoos together shows pride and loyalty. This kind of concept would go well if you are looking for a spirit animal tattoo design suitable for a couple.

Moreover, both the lion and lioness are protectors and the symbol of wisdom. 

10. Small Birds Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@Vitali Kutscher)

Sometimes, a tattoo does not have to be big. Tiny animal tattoos can be applied tastefully to a certain body part. For instance, a small bird that flies together with its flocks is a good idea for a tattoo, especially if this winged creature is your spirit animal.

In spiritual terms, birds sometimes represent freedom. This trait would apply to you, who has a free soul, a rebellious and easy-going person.

The flock of birds tattooed on your shoulder would look charming. The tattoo will stand out elegantly whenever you wear sleeveless or backless tops.


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11. Dolphin Tattoo

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A free soul in the ocean is a perfect description of dolphins. Although dolphins are usually associated with an attraction in waterparks, dolphins are in fact intelligent beings. They trust their instinct, and they are often used as a symbol of balance and harmony.

A dolphin tattoo would be perfect for sailors, surfers, and free-souled people. After all, this ocean-dwelling mammal is the best spirit animal for people with that type of occupation.

12. Dragonfly Tattoo

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Similar to butterflies, dragonflies also symbolize transformation. Dragonflies also represent adaptability. This insect may look small and insignificant, but the tiny creatures often symbolize good fortune.

For these reasons, dragonfly tattoos might be good for small animal tattoo ideas. A good spirit animal tattoo design does not have to be big, after all.  

13. Owl Tattoo

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An owl is closely related to the Goddess Athena, the Greek goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and strategic war. Therefore, an owl tattoo could represent those values as well.

Because the owl represents the goddess of war, it is perfect for girls who do not need a man to defend themselves!

14. Patronus Tattoo

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Some mythical creatures are revived into modern beliefs due to the rising of pop culture. For example, young adult novels such as Harry Potter brought these creatures back into the wizarding world.

If you happen to be a fan, you might have taken a Patronus quiz at some point in your life. Who knows, it matched your personality or heavily influenced your upbringing. If that’s the case, feel free to embrace your Patronus animal to be your spirit animal.

You can always have Harry’s deer, Hermione’s beaver, or even Luna’s rabbit engraved on your body.

15. Death Eater Snake Tattoo

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If your spirit animal is a snake, here is a stylish rendition that would make a good tatto for your arm.

While the snake has its significance, a Harry Potter fan would associate it with the villainous character, Lord Voldemort. He uses a snake as his symbol, and all his followers have this Death Eater tattoo as a sign of loyalty.

So in case you want to have something different, or if you just happen to be a Harry Potter fan, you can have this Death Heater snake tattoo on your wrist.

16. Hogwarts House Animal Tattoo

Hogwarts House Animal Tattoo
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Here is another Harry Potter-influenced spirit animal! The Hogwarts House symbol that represents your animal spirits would make a great tattoo.

In the same way, you know your Patronus spirit, there is an official way to know which house in Hogwarts you belong to. Then you can have your house symbol be your spirit animal tattoo design.

17. Greek Myth-Inspired Tattoo

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If you want a specific myth associated with spirit animals, try to learn some Greek mythology. Some Gods and Goddesses have a specific sacred animal. So just in case you want a specific god’s trait to protect you, you can have their sacred animal as your spirit animal tattoo design.

Try a peacock to associate yourself with Hera. Crows as your animal tattoos for guys if you want Ares to be your protector. And then, there’s always an owl to be your spirit animal to associate yourself with Athena.

18. Zodiac Inspired Animal Tattoo

Zodiac Inspired Animal Tattoo
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Every zodiac has its own symbol, and some of them are animals. Pisces, for instance, is symbolized by two fishes swimming continuously. Cancers are represented by crabs, and so on. If you think your zodiac corresponds to your personality traits, then you can have it as your spirit animal tattoo design.


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19. Dog’s Paw Tattoo

Dog’s Paw Tattoo
Source: Pinterest (@tattmag.com)

For a dog lover, it is quite obvious that dogs are their best companion. Therefore, it is not a surprise that some people adopt them not just as a pet but also regard them as their spirit animals. However, if you are one of them but think having a dog tattoo sounds too mainstream, have their paw as a tattoo instead!

20. Eagle Tattoo

Eagle Tattoo
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Eagle, in many myths, is an important animal that symbolizes leadership. Start from representing Zeus as king of the gods until it is used as the symbol of freedom in America.

It signifies the quality of leadership and duty. Such values would add extra meaning, and the tattoo can be yours by having an eagle carved into your body. 


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What is a spirit tattoo?

A spirit tattoo refers to a tattoo created with the belief that a certain animal spirit portrayed in the tattoo would bring a certain value to the tattoo bearer. These values vary from internal strength, protection, family, wisdom, and many other values that humans try to manifest. The spirit tattoo might have been rooted in many traditional beliefs with certain rules in applying the tattoo, but in modern times, things have loosened a little, and people can choose what kind of spirit animal they could manifest their strength from.

Which animal tattoo is lucky?

Depending on which cultures you refer to, many animals could represent luck and fortune. Among many of those animals, it would be quite a surprise to have a dragonfly tattoo as a lucky charm. Some say dragonflies could measure the amount of fish in the ocean, making it a good omen for fishermen. 

What tattoos symbolize protection?

A lot of spirit animal tattoos can represent the value of protection. The most popular ones are mostly among those who go in packs, like a wolf, lion and lioness, and elephant. They would travel in groups and would not leave their companion. While elephants have distinctive motherly protection, lion, and wolf both possess a fierce leader type of protection.

Do tattoos have energy?

The tattoo has a long history, and since the old times, is believed to be one way to be connected to the gods. This is not only for one culture, but a lot of cultures have similar beliefs too. This implies that they believe that such symbolism has a certain energy to manifest certain traits to be gifted to humans. The fact that some cultures still do such tattoo practice proves how strongly humans believe that tattoos could, indeed, give them energy.

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